Sunday, August 30, 2009

Lifelong friendships.





I first met Delanie when we were in the 6th grade. She and her family moved to town just in time to start a new junior high school. Having had 5 children of my own go through 6th grade (and all of middle school, for that matter), that isn't the easiest time for a kid in school. My mother has always maintained that if every child could have at least one close friend growing up, they would make it through. I feel extremely fortunate to have had several close friends, and Delanie is one of my closest.

What I remember the most about Delanie in the 6th grade, was that she carried a purse to school and wore it with the strap across her chest (I can only presume that is so it wouldn't fall off during recess). I think she was the only one who ever brought a purse to school in junior high school, but her mother was very sophisticated, and maybe that was what girls did at her old school.

Delanie only had one brother so she was always happy to have me come over. I, on the other hand, had an older sister, a younger brother, and two younger sisters - so I was always happy to come over!

Delanie's mom had a house keeper named, Vida, who didn't speak much English but was always as cute and cheerful as she could be as she folded laundry, dusted and vacuumed. Delanie had given strict instructions to her mother that Vida was NOT to clean her bedroom. Delanie was (and is) very particular about her things and didn't want to take the chance that Vida might mess anything up.

I used to love to play "stylist" for Delanie and do her hair and make-up. We both loved babies so almost every weekend, she and I had babysitting jobs. When we were about 14 or 15, we decided that one summer we were going to offer a play group for moms to bring their kids to for a couple of hours a day, three days a week. That was a big hit ... a ton of work, but we couldn't get enough of those little ones.

One day, we decided to take them on a field trip to the Arboritum in Arcadia. (That is where they used to film the show, Fantasy Island.) We didn't drive, so my dad volunteered - or was just willing to give in to our pleas - to drive us to and from our little day trip. I think every last one of the kids on the "rolls" showed up that day and we fit 15 of us into our station wagon. We had those kids packed like little sardines in the back of that car - we laughed out loud at how they all looked with their legs interlocking. (I can't remember now if they had fun or not ...)

If it weren't for Delanie, I don't know if I would have passed a math class in high school. She was one of those kids who were kind of at genius status. She always got straight A's in school, was the teacher's pet, and didn't miss one day of high school. She went on to graduate as the valedictorian of her class in college, and then went on to graduate with honors from her nursing program. I will forever give Delanie accolades for her brilliance!

Delanie is one of those people you call your "backdoor guests." She is casual, down to earth, unassuming, and makes everyone around her feel comfortable. She visited my sister-in-law, Kim's house once, and was so complimentary about her home, Kim said, "Please come back anytime! You are always welcome."

And you, Delanie, my friend, are always welcome at mine .... Happy Birthday! I love you.

Thursday, August 27, 2009



YEAH BABY!!!! Is that enough said????? (Check out the worker ... he saw me across the street, waved, and did a little "he-man" pose. I cracked up!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009



This is the picture I have on my desk top screen. Nice, isn't it? The I.T. guy in my office put it on for me one day because he knew what a chocolate fiend I am. I have chocolate just about every day ... and I say "just about" only because I am currently trying to drop a few pounds so I have been cutting back. In my normal existence, it is an every day consumption.

My dad has told my siblings and I that his mother liked to have dessert after every meal. My grandmother was a VERY proper woman. I never once saw her wear pants, or panty hose for that matter. She always wore a dress, a slip, and nylons - the kind that you wear with a girdle and garter belt. She had her hair done every Wednesday, wore makeup everyday, and always wore earrings - clip on. She conducted herself in a very lady like manner as well. She had a very quiet and calm demeanor ... we all loved her, and we loved her cookie jar.

She had a cookie jar for the grandchildren, and a bread box for my grandpa and her. She did have her loaf of bread in there, but she also had the special cookies that were just for the adults.

Our cookie jar had oreos or chips ahoy or the pink/white/and brown sandwich cookies, and their bread box had cookies that were chocolate and marshmallow filled. Or wafers wrapped in chocolate and coconut. It was a great day when we got to be teenagers and Grandma would give in and let us have one of the adult cookies!

So I suppose it just might be hereditary, and that would explain my keen attraction for chocolate. (Well, that and I am a woman.) I like a little taste of it after every meal ... just like my grandma. Even if it is just a little handful from my open bag of Nestle's semi sweet chocolate chips in my freezer.

There is a yummy smelling store here in town called, The Chocolate Cottage, that my friend Sherry and I like to frequent. Seriously, you just walk in, inhale, and you have consumed calories. Sherry will buy $14 worth of treats and it will last her a couple of weeks. Me ... well ... I can spend $14 and finish it before the end of business day! Which is why I tend to include chocolate covered strawberries, or raspberries, or grapes. At least I am also getting in a serving of fruit.

That justification can also apply when you are in front of a chocolate fountain, letting that luscious, creamy, dreamy flow of chocolate engulf your strawberries, bananas ... okay, and your rice crispy treat squares, your oreo cookie, your cinnamon gummy bear, your brownie bite, your marshmallow - you get the picture ... now go get some chocolate!!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Good dreams.


Ever since I was a little girl, I have had vivid dreams. My mother has told me that I used to talk about my dreams at the breakfast table and retell them in full detail. I've heard about keeping a dream journal by your bed so that you can recount your dream before you forget it, but I don't usually need help recounting my dreams. They stay with me for most of the day ... or week, and some of them, for years.

In fact, I remember one dream that I had when I was home for a summer during college. It seemed to go on for days, and in the dream I was with a little baby girl. She was about 8 months old, bald, chubby and the cutest little thing. We had spent so much time together in the dream that when I was without her in my waking reality, I actually cried when I told my dad about it because it had been so real and I missed her so much. I had a sad day.

I often have dreams about celebrities too. It is almost always the same scenario with them ... we meet at a mutual friend's party, hang out for a little while and I leave thinking how much fun they were to get to know. I have spent time with Michael J. Fox, Michael Jackson, George Michael, Keith Urban, Ellen, Oprah and just last week - Brad Pitt. (I know, so fun, huh?) There was only one dream where I actually left the party with someone ... that would be Jon Bon Jovi. He gave me a ride home in his truck and kissed me goodnight. That was a really good dream, I adore Jon Bon Jovi.

Fortunately, I don't have many bad dreams. The few that I have had over the years, I can still remember though. When my oldest daughter was just a toddler, and I was working in L.A., I dreamt that there was a huge tidal wave that was literally a wall of water heading for Los Angeles. (And then about 20 years later they made a movie just like that ... I should have written the screenplay first - kind of like Stephanie Meyer did with her dream, calling it Twilight .... hmmmm.)

Anyway, in the dream, I was frantically running up stairs in various buildings trying to get McCall from daycare before the wave hit us, but I couldn't find her. I remember my mom telling me that those kinds of dreams put your body through the same kind of stress because your mind doesn't realize it was just a dream - I found that very interesting. (Maybe that also explains why, when I have a lot going on in my dream, I am tired the next day.)

I had a co-worker years ago, who would ask me each morning what I had dreamt about so we could try to figure out what it meant together. I have gotten pretty good at analyzing my own dreams through the years ... I have found that when my dreams are crazy and chaotic, it is when my own life is too busy - my dream is probably sending a message that I need to slow down and refocus. I have read that there is an absolute correlation between what we dream and our waking lives - and we can figure out what they mean if we "learn the language of our dreams."

I know a lot of people dream about flying, but I don't normally have dreams where I fly. The closest thing I had to that (and more than once), was running so fast that my feet left the ground, so I was running in the air at a super charged pace ... kind of like the "road runner".

But last week, I dreamed that I was sky diving with a friend. We were free falling without any parachutes. We talked on our way down, admiring how beautiful it was, and when I was just about to reach the ground, my body slowly stopped, I stepped out of the "fall" and onto the ground and walked away.

The whole dream was pretty amazing, but the end ... very, very cool.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Flip flop tan lines.


Growing up in Southern California was a lot of fun, for many reasons, and one of them was because we got to go to the beach. We lived about an hour away so it wasn't as often as I would have liked, but my fair skin and dermatologist are probably grateful that it was at least that one hour drive away.

Summers always meant tan lines too. After a weekend in the sun we would pull our shirt top over at the shoulder to show our girlfriends how defined our strap marks were. Or hold our arms next to each other to see whose tan was darker. (I would rarely win that one, but that does remind me of a funny story ... A girlfriend told me that she asked one of her friends the following question: If everything on our bodies has a purpose for being there, what is the purpose of arm hair? To which her friend frankly replied, Don't you know, silly? It's so that in the summertime your hair can turn blonde and look really great against your tan arms!)

Well, sadly, long gone are the days of swim suits and leisurely days at the beach for this old gal! I used to get at least a farmer's tan from yard work, but even that is now hard to come by. I don't have the time to spend hours in my yard anymore and for some reason, my legs have taken a haitus from any other shade but stark white. However ... my feet, for some odd reason, are hanging on to the good old days and still like to garnish a little color. I mow my yard in my flip flops (I had to give up calling them thongs because it horrifed my children when I did), so my tan lines of today are on my feet.

I can remember standing on the stage at a church function when I was around 20. A boy came up to the stage so his head was pretty close to being at my feet level. He brushed his hand across my feet and looked at me strangely. He said, "I wondered if you were wearing nylons with your sandals. Your feet are so tan." And that still makes me a little happy.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Migrating Geese.


I LOVE to watch migrating geese! There is a pond not too far from my house where geese congregate. Every year I look forward to their migration. I drive by the pond on my way to work and often will pull my car to the side of the road to watch them.

Yesterday, I was out in my back yard and heard loud quacking, and then saw several geese in their "V" formation right over my head. I had never seen them flying so low or so close to me, and I was disappointed that I didn't have my camera right around my neck for a picture.

It seemed a little early for them to be migrating, but I read that when there is a change in weather, they know it is time to go to a warmer climate. (We've had a couple of cooler days - it is fascinating to me how animal instincts work.)

I went in the house and grabbed my camera to set on the patio, just in case any more decided to fly my way. And I didn't have to wait too long ... about 10 minutes later I heard the quacks and got the camera. This picture is what I saw. I think they are so beautiful. And what made me love them even more was learning more about their migration:

When a goose leaves the formation, he feels resistance of the air and the difficulties of flying alone. Then, he quickly comes back to the formation to take advantage of the flock's power in front of him.

When the leader gets tired of flying, he goes to the end of the "V" formation, while another goose takes the lead. The geese flying in the formation quack to encourage the ones in the front. In that way, they keep the same speed.

When a goose gets sick, is injured or gets too tired and must leave the formation, other geese leave the formation too. They fly with him to help him out and protect him. They remain with him until he dies or is able to fly again. They reach their bevy, or just make another "V" formation.

There are lessons to be learned from geese.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Quilt squares.


A few years ago, one of my sisters called me to say she had seen the cutest quilt that one of our favorite local artisans had made and that she was going to start a quilt class. Pretty much everything that Joy created was darling, so I said I'm in!

The concept was, that 5 of us would come to her house one night a week for 5 weeks. Each week, someone got to choose their quilt colors/squares, then we all sat down at sewing machines to sew them into "9 patches" and then those got sewn together and ... voila! At the end of 5 weeks we each had a quilt top. The bug bit.

The hunt for cute fabric then became one of our favorite things to do. We would travel far and wide to visit cute quilt shops at anyone's recommendation. Sometimes we had a specific quilt in mind, and sometimes we didn't ... if the fabric was stinkin' cute, we had to have it. (Sort of like it is when you first discover scrapbooking. You just want to have one of almost everything, until you acquire so much you know you couldn't use it up in a lifetime. And then the style of scrapbooking changes and all the supplies you thought were so cute, aren't so cute anymore ... uh oh.)

I think the best part of quilting for me was after I had cut all of those little squares. There they sat, right in front of me, color coordinated, and adorable, just waiting to fulfill the measure of their creation. One of my sisters would pat her piles of squares because they were just so cute and she was so proud.

Once those squares are cut and ready to go, you already feel a sense of accomplishment, even before the sewing begins! I think I finished about 6 quilts before the burn out hit - as it often does when you discover a new hobby. I laid down my rotary cutter for a few years, but now that I have a grandbaby on the way ... I'm cutting squares again. And they make me happy.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Diet Coke.


You know, what can I say about Diet Coke? I love it, and I know I am in good company when I say that. It did take me a good long time to come over to the dark and dangerous side though.

When I was a little girl living in upstate New York, right across the street from our house was a big pond. Next to the pond was miles of grass. I was sitting on the grass one day with my friend, Peggy. We were having a little picnic on a blanket and she offered me some of her coke. I told her that I couldn't drink it because it was against my religion. (I was probably 6 or 7 because we moved out west when I was eight.) She said, "What will happen to you?" I said I wasn't sure. But in my young little head that day, I pictured a bolt of lightning striking me if I took a sip. I pretty much kept that same mentality until I was 20, while I was attending BYU Hawaii for a year.

My roommates all drank TAB. I scolded them and reminded them that it was full of caffeine, was detrimental to their health, and they really shouldn't be drinking it. The three of them looked at me as if to say: Excuse me? Are you for real? How old are you, and you have a problem with TAB?

I had certainly outgrown my fear of lightning bolts, so I started drinking TAB ... then TAB with lemon, then on to Diet Coke when TAB became no longer available.

I have "given up" Diet Coke before. (Haven't we all?) I went a whole year without drinking any back in 2002. One of my friends had said that once you are off of it for a while you lose your taste for it. Not me.

It was my birthday, and I was celebrating in Las Vegas with my friend, Tracy. We sat down to dinner and she asked if I was having a Diet Coke. I told her I hadn't had one in a year ... then I thought, it's my birthday, I think I will have one. And it tasted SOOOOOO good! I think it was the best Diet Coke I had ever had. It did not disappoint. I had another, and another after that.

We will not discuss the side effects of aspartame at this time, however. This is a happy little things blog and Diet Coke really can make one happy - on a stressful, crazy day, filling your 44 oz cup with ice and Diet Coke is a wonderful relaxer ... you know it is. :)

(oh, who am kidding ... it is fabulous on ANY given day!!!)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Deer ... in my yard.




Yesterday, early evening, my son said, "Mom, come and look at the two baby deer out back." I came to the window and just over the back fence I could see two little spotted fawns pulling the leaves off of a bush. I grabbed my camera and started to walk toward the back of the yard. They seemed fairly oblivious to my presence, so I approached with caution as I tried to get as close as I could before stirring them.

About 10 yards from the fence, I noticed there was a third deer, the mama, eating on the other side of the bush. Almost at the same time, she noticed me ... and off they ran.

One of the fawns ran into the neighbor's yard behind me and when she was at a safe distance, turned, stood still, and just looked at me. The other one ran with the doe into the next door neighbor's yard.

The first picture is that mama, ever so cautious, hiding in between trees - yet curious, and carefully watching me. I held the camera up to my eye and she tipped her head just a little bit so it was in between the branches as if she needed a better view. I walked toward her and she backed away ... always keeping her eyes on me. The little baby did the same, undoubtedly not quite sure just what to do.

Our housing development was built on the side of a mountain about 15 years ago. We took up quite a bit of the deer's natural habitat and feeding ground. It isn't unusual to see them walking up the hills, or crossing through my yard, or running down the street. It is just more usual to see them during the winter, when they are looking for food.

A few years ago, we had family visiting from Oregon. One night, just before Christmas, I looked out my kitchen window and saw 12 deer lingering in our snow covered back yard. I whispered to the children to come and look outside. I told them that perhaps some of them were Santa's reindeer, getting ready for their journey. Their little eyes got wide as they oohed and awed. It was one of those magical little moments.

Deer are such calm, beautiful creatures. When I watched them last night, I couldn't help but notice that the mama's rib cage was showing. I wanted to bring her a bowl of food ... I have never really minded if they eat my bushes - they were here first. And it always makes me happy to see them.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

License Plates.

This morning on my way to work, I was driving behind a car with the license plate: IMGLAD2. It made me think of the movie, Pollyanna, and how she liked to play the "glad game." Whenever she was feeling a little down, she would think about all the reasons she had to be glad, and it always made her feel better.

I always pay attention to license plates. I will look at the car's plate in front of me and try to make some sort of correlation, with its numbers or letters, to me or people I know. Are the numbers any significant date? Are they someone's birthday? Are the letters initials of someone I know? Or are they a combination of names I know? Do the letters stand for a phrase? (i.e. : NTM - not too much, SJR - see jane run, NYJ - new york joe ... sometimes I just make stuff up!)

During my second year at college, the cutest guy in the entire apartment complex drove a Volkswagen beetle, with a Hawaii license plate. (Okay, in today's society, not so macho - I get that. But it was the 70's ... think psychedelic, beads, and VW vans ... the beetle was just a mini, cool version of that.) I adored him and I adored his car! I wanted one. The Volkswagen convertible bug became my dream car.

That same year, I was coming out of the mall and walked by a parking space occupied by another Volkswagen convertible - white with a black top. The license plate was: DOVE. (Back then Utah's plates were black and white.) The car was color coordinated and was personalized for me! Who owns this car? Where is my camera when I need it? I wonder if they'd sell it to me!

I stood there and stared at it for a really long time ... it had to be mine. Then my friend said, "C'mon. It's cold and we need to get home." I never saw it again ... sigh. (I think Volkswagen realized that now only females would drive a bug. That must be why they installed a flower vase as a standard feature to the right of the steering wheel.)

There is a cute little black bug that parks outside of my dentist's office every day. The hubcaps are daisies and today I noticed that its license plate says: WHITERS. Well doesn't that just "figure" - of course someone named Whitney would drive that car!!! :)

When I got a new car a few years ago (well, technically just a newer car), I tried to figure out something significant that my unpersonalized plate could stand for. Hmmmm ... the numbers added together equaled the number of children I had plus the number of children my boyfriend at the time had. And the letters were: UBA. Hmmmm ... U B A ... mom! You be a mom! Yup, that is how I started to remember my license plate number.

That same boyfriend was passing by my office one day and left a note on my windshield. All that was written on the note was his license plate number and a happy face - it totally made my day!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Perfect Batch of Cookies.


I can't remember exactly when I first started making chocolate chip cookies on a regular basis ... I must have had the assignment to bring cookies to some function when my children were little, and they turned out pretty well, so I kept on making them. Getting a perfect batch is a tiny obsession of mine. For me, the perfect batch is when they look every bit as good as they taste. People would ask me for my recipe and I would say, "It is just the toll house recipe right off the back of the bag."

And they would reply, "No it isn't. I use that recipe and mine don't taste like this."

It really was the toll house cookie recipe from the back of the bag - with just a few little tricks of the trade, which I didn't mind sharing.

During my third year at college, I worked at Mrs. Field's at the University Mall. Given my current age, as stated on my profile (why do you suppose they ask that anyway?), that was a really long time ago. In fact, Mrs. Field's was a fairly new conglomerate way back then. There were so few stores at that time that Debbie Field's actually came to our company Christmas party and I sat right next to her. She made all of us cookies, signed the back, shalacked them (that might be a new word for some of you) and made them into Christmas ornaments. I still hang mine on my tree.

My shift often started at 7 am. I would be the first one in sight at the mall, go in through the back door, turn on the lights, warm up the ovens, and proceed to make, what seemed to be, hundreds of pounds of cookie dough ... all kinds of varieties! Here is the interesting part ... I never really knew the recipe, just the ingredients. Nothing was marked. No lines on the measuring cups, there was just a big red one and a smaller red one. The chips were pre-packaged in unmarked bags, as were the raisins and nuts, so we didn't know exactly how much of anything we were putting in.

When we were hired, we had to sign an agreement saying that we would never open up our own cookie store which might compete with Mrs. Field's.

Years later, when I was in the habit of making chocolate chip cookies on a weekly basis, and often told I should open up a cookie store, I wondered what the statute of limitations was for that agreement ... hmmmm?

But here are a couple of tips that I have tried and found true over the years. Always set your oven lower than they tell you to - I set mine to 325 and extend the baking time to 12 minutes. I always use real butter - two sticks, partially melted. The toll house recipe calls for 1 tsp. of salt ... I think that is too much, I only use 1/2. And always extra chocolate chips (mine have to be Nestle's). I have the biggest bag from Costco in my freezer at all times (also great when there is an immediate NEED for chocolate) and then I just dump away!

I was giving the recipe to a friend over the phone the other day. One of my sisters heard me and said, "Tell her they won't turn out like yours ... they never do." She made me smile. I have the assignment of bringing chocolate chip cookies to all extended family functions ... it is an unwritten rule.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Peanut M&Ms.


This one is pretty self explanatory ... I love peanut m&ms! They have been my number one candy treat of choice for years. I will sometimes deviate for a little while, but I always come back to peanut m&ms. They're cute, they're colorful ... they last longer than a candy bar - if you first crunch the outside shell off, then chew the chocolate, then eat the peanut (keeping it in your mouth during the process, of course.) They are especially good when eaten at the same time as movie popcorn. A tip I first learned about 20 years ago - thanks Jeanine!

And I Love, Love, LOVE, a really fresh bag of peanut m&ms!!! So fresh that when you open the bag you can actually smell the freshness ... best achieved when you purchase the big 7 pound bag from Costco.

Great road trip treat.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Really long hair.

This is my niece, Anna. Anna was born with a full head of dark hair. She got her first hair cut at 6 months old, long before any of mine even had hair.

When Anna was four and in pre-school, her teacher, Miss Dorie, approached my sister and said, "I have to tell you the funniest thing. One of the other moms asked me if you had gotten extensions put in Anna's hair. The mom said, 'That couldn't possibly be her real hair.'"

It is her real hair ... and it is thick all the way down to the very ends! I don't think Anna can even make her fingers touch if she tried to reach them around her own ponytail (making washing, brushing, and styling a little more challenging for the mama!)

There was a girl in my high school named Maryann. Maryann was Hawaiian, beautiful, and had hair to her knees. I can still picture her during P.E. class, running around the track with her hair gently flowing in the breeze behind her, as a row of male students stopped, stood still, heads turning simultaneously as she passed by them in slow motion ... at least I remember it being in slow motion.

I'm not sure what it is that makes really long hair so captivating, but it is. Somehow really long hair seems to glean it's bearer a little extra power - think Samson and Delilah.

Although I do have long hair now, I have never had really long hair. But I have had my share of mishaps at the salon where much too much was cut ... like the time I was in kindergarten and my sister got her long hair cut to her shoulders. I was at a friend's house, my sister showed up at the door and said, "Mom wants to know if you want to get your hair cut in a pixie." I was 5, I had never heard the word pixie, so I said I did.

I didn't like it.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I love seeing brides.
It is such a happy, exciting time in their lives. It is a time of joy and anticipation. Days are filled with a good kind of "busyness" as they make preparations for that special day of celebration ... when they become a Mrs. ... someone's wife. When it's okay to make the day all about you!

I have four little nieces who have waited in long reception lines to get hugs from the bride, even when it was their own cousin. There is something magical about the dress, I think, that turns that ordinary girl into someone extrordinary that day - it turns her into a Princess Bride - and so they patiently follow the crowd until it is their turn, and it is always worth the wait. Their little faces just absolutely light up as the bride leans down, with arms outstretched, to give them a big personal embrace.

This happy, beautiful bride is my oldest baby, McCall. She got married on June 16th, 2007 to the boy who took her out on her first date when she was 16 years old. (She was almost as excited about that too!!!!) But, ironically, Jared and McCall never went out again until 6 years later, when their paths coincidentally crossed. He happened into the store where she was working, they chatted briefly, and when he left, he said to his mother, "That is the girl I'm going to marry."

He is the one who put that big grin on her face in these photos! Today is McCall's birthday and I wanted to let her know how proud I am of her ... how much I enjoy her ... and to tell her that I love her. She is one of my happiest little things!

Happy Birthday Bug!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Little notes of appreciation.


dear temple square gardeners,
thank you for making the grounds look so incredibly beautiful, always. i wish you could come to my house too ... we need you.

dear upstairs air conditioner,
you make me so happy every time i walk up to my room and it is nice and cool. downstairs air conditioner isn't nearly as dependable as you are. thank you for that relief on a 100 degree day.

dear chrysler sebring,
i just wanted to say that i am really proud of you. i know you are getting older, but you haven't given me any trouble for a few months now and i really do appreciate that. keep up the good work.

dear brown spots,
i have been really good about hand watering and soaking you every day. i know you have a long way to go before you green up, but i have faith in you. you can do this ... keep trying.

dear blogworld,
i just wanted you to know that i am really excited to be a part of you now. it has been a lot of fun already and i only have 5 posts so far. i hope it is okay that sometimes we share ideas ... thanks naomi for this one. i love it.

dear kids,
you know i love you, right? just checking.

dear people who make comments,
thank you for that. it means a lot when you blog. i'm not quite sure why, but everybody says that. :)

dear camera,
i know we haven't been as close lately, but i promise i am going to start spending lots more time with you. you do a fantastic job now, but i hope i can help you reach your full potential.

dear water,
thanks for all of your health benefits. i will try to consume more. really.

dear paige and mccall,
thank you for being patient with me as i struggle to learn all that i need to know to have a blog. i'm glad you are my helpers because you are both really nice.

with love,
polly dove

Monday, August 3, 2009

Flower Shops.


There is a shop on Nantucket Island called FLOWERS. It is one of my favorite little places to visit when I am there. As soon as you approach the first step up to the door, the house seems to say, "Come and stay here for a little while." And when you walk inside, that is exactly what you want to do.

The shop has beautiful cards and stationery and books. It has shelves filled with glass vases and candlesticks and baskets. There are tables full of lamps and frames and pillows. Everything is so beautiful, but what makes you want to linger, is how fresh and clean and fragrant the air smells around you. Half of the first floor is filled from floor to ceiling with containers of fresh flowers, just waiting to be arranged. It is a treat to be there.

Last Thursday morning, I was on a hunt for Gerber daisies for a wedding luncheon. I walked into a flower shop that could have been located in Anytown, USA. The store was nice and cool. The side wall was lined with glass door refrigerators. There were carousel stands of cards, helium balloons, and rows of green fern baskets. But that store had the same fresh, clean, fragrant air and I didn't want to leave.

I looked at all of the arrangements ready made on the shelves behind the glass doors, stared at the sayings on the floating balloons, and thought about all the different places these flowers might go ...

Maybe to a hospital to wish someone well, or welcome a new little baby into the world.

They might carry wishes of a Happy Anniversary, or a Job Well Done.

Maybe they're to say I'm sorry, or I wish you were here.

They might be bought to celebrate a birthday, or a wedding ... or cut as a corsage for the prom.

I stood by the counter as the girl told me they didn't have anymore Gerber daisies, and as I thumbed through the little gift cards on the counter, I thought of who I might give them to, and bought three ... I said thank you, and was glad that I was able to stop in that day for a little while.

You know, giving the gift of flowers is a universal nice gesture. Even if you buy just one, and then hand it to someone ... you will watch them smile.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Osmonds.

"Hey Jay, do you think Diane and Polly are here yet?"

Jay searches the audience, looking for Polly.

Donny spots Diane and gets a little excited!

"Okay guys, we're here! Let's cut the cake ... and get the party started!"

Happy 50th Anniversary Osmonds!!!

Jay and I chat with Joni, enjoy the celebration and fight our way through the crowd!

Diane and Donny finally get to catch up!

When I was first introduced to the Osmonds ... and I do mean literally introduced, I was 12 years old. My best friend, since third grade, was Kathy. She lived in a big, beautiful Spanish mansion, complete with an Olympic size swimming pool, tennis courts, a putting green, ballroom, game room - you name it, this house had it. And the Osmonds were filming a commercial there for a Japanese drink called Calpis. (I was really glad I was friends with Kathy - for lots of reasons, really, but especially for this reason in the 7th grade.)

At that point in time, the Osmonds had just popped onto the charts with One Bad Apple, and already had a following of screaming female fans ... Diane was one of them. Although she didn't really scream (too much). She was more of a subdued kind of fan, but as loyal as they come. And what I have learned through the years, is that once you become an Osmond fan, you stay an Osmond fan.

Diane had recently moved to our town from Northern California. I didn't know her yet, I just recognized her as a new girl at school. But Diane did have a good friend, named Barbara, who would wait outside Kathy's house every day after school -maybe even during school - while they were filming, along with lots of other fans, waiting for Osmond sightings as they came in and out of the house. (It was a quite a big deal! Tiger Beat magazine was there and everything.) I'm pretty sure that Barbara was just a little jealous when Diane - like me - was invited over by Kathy!

What I remember the most about all of that, was sitting in the front foyer with Kathy, her sister, and Marie. Marie was brushing her hair and telling us that she hated being out in the sun too long because it made her hair greasy. And I remember thinking, "She is so mature. She seems way older than 13!"

Thanks to that twist of fate, Diane and I became fast friends. (Fortunately, we didn't have to argue over who was going to marry Donny, since I preferred Jay.) 36 years later, through countless bouts of "Osmondmania" fun ... 9 births between us ... high tides and low tides ... we are still the best of friends. And getting to celebrate the 50th Anniversary together in Las Vegas was like a trip back in time - what a blast!!!!!

Happy Birthday, Di! I love you!

Then ... and now!